Apps to Aid With Anxiety

September 6, 2019

 

If you deal with anxiety, you know how hard it can be to talk to your friends and family about what you’re struggling with. It can also be difficult to calm yourself down in public when you’re feeling nervous, anxious, or if you’re having a panic attack. Luckily, there are proven mental health apps that you can download and have at your fingertips in seconds to help combat your anxiety. These apps can provide a quick distraction or help to log down your emotions to discuss with a professional later on. Here is a list of four apps that can help aid you with your anxiety: 

 

1. Headspace

Available on: Google Play, App Store

 

Headspace is a relaxation, meditation, and sleep app that also functions as an anti-anxiety app, thanks to its many calming functions. Users can listen to peaceful sounds to help them fall asleep and also listen to meditation guides on how to manage their anxiety levels. This app is all about letting go of all the stress from your day, silencing your anxiety for the night, and allowing you to get a good night’s rest. Headspace is the perfect anxiety app to use just before bed to guarantee you aren’t up all night worrying about work or school tomorrow. 

 

Cost: Headspace is free to download and provides users with a free trial initially, though there are large portions of the app's functions that are locked behind a paywall. If you’re interested in exploring the app more after your free trial, the Headspace Plus subscription goes for about $96 a year. For students, the subscription plan is only $10 a year. Headspace Plus gives users complete access to the entirety of the Headspace Library “which has hundreds of meditations, mindfulness exercises, and animations” to aid with anxiety and stress, while the free trial only taps into a small portion of that library.

 

2. SAM

Available on: Google Play, App Store

 

SAM, which stands for Self-help for Anxiety Management, is a free app designed to help people learn how to manage their anxiety. It provides a range of functions, all of which aim to help the user identify what is causing their anxiety in the first place and how to handle their emotions head-on. If users are seeking immediate anxiety relief, there is a function on the app called “Help for anxiety NOW” where people can choose an activity, like coloring, to distract and calm themselves down. If users would like to get to the root of why they have anxiety issues, the app allows them to catalog what things specifically make them anxious and create an “anxiety toolkit” to combat those triggers. SAM is a great app for those who want to learn methods to better cope with their anxiety and those who need help working through panic attacks. 

 

Cost: Free! No paid subscription needed.

 

 

3. Sanvello

Available on: Google Play, App Store

 

Sanvello is an app created to help users who suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression. Like Headspace, Sanvello offers meditation sessions, ways to rate your mood and anxiety levels, and calming activities, but it also has ways to track the progress of your mental health. By providing journaling, goal setting, and more, Sanvello compiles your activity on the app into a chart for you to see how your moods have changed over time, what your triggers might be, and if your condition is getting better or worse. 

 

Cost: Sanvello is free to download, but, like Headspace, it requires a paid subscription to unlock more features in the app. The subscription, which is $9 a month or $54 a year, permits users to view and interact with all of the app’s meditations, guided journeys, thought activities, mood/health ratings, and themes. The free version of this app does not have access to these many additional features, but just know that the app’s creators actually hate to charge people at all—their ultimate goal is “to remove any cost to individuals using the app through health plan coverage.” Until that dream is realized, Sanvello’s full features can only be accessed through the paid subscription service.

 

4. Calm 

Available on: Google Play, App Store

 

Calm is an app created to provide its users with helpful meditation guides and to lull them to sleep with its unique sleep stories—”bedtime stories...read by well-known voices”—that update every week. These helpful functions can also be used to relieve anxiety and stress, as does the app’s breathing exercise function, which can help soothe users experiencing a panic attack. Calm is the ideal app to use on a lunch break or whenever you feel like you need a moment of peace. 

 

Cost: Calm is free to download and offers a 7-day free trial of its premium subscription services. After this trial, Calm Premium costs $60 a year, or a one-time purchase of $400. Calm’s free trial offers a taste of each of the app’s huge sections of features: a few timed meditations, the first day of each of the multi-day meditation programs, the breath bubble feature, free nature sound/music scenes, and a sleep story called “Blue Gold.” With Calm Premium, the entire app’s library of “meditations, stories, music, and other features” are available to users, including a monthly “Calm Masterclass” from mindfulness experts and more than “120 sleep stories” to choose from.

 

All of these apps are meant to be a temporary fix for your stress and anxiety—not cures. Perhaps by adopting their meditation techniques or breathing exercises, your anxiety levels could lessen, but the apps are really only meant for temporary relief. If you are continuously struggling with your anxiety, you should definitely seek help from a mental health professional for long term treatment. Otherwise, be sure to give these apps a try and see how they can improve your daily life!

 

Sarah DeLena is currently studying for her masters in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College. She hopes to become an editor of YA literature, her favorite genre, own at least two golden retrievers, and further the legacy of the Oxford comma.

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